Saturday July 30th I woke up and headed down to Edgewater for an open water swim meet. Last year, I completed the 1 mile swim, placed, and had a great time. So, this year I figured why not? Why not do the 2 mile? I signed up for the 2 mile swim this year.
The water was calm and warm. After they placed the buoys, I started to panic...."I can't even see the half mile mile marker buoy!" Of course, everyone said I'll be fine.
People attending this meet are all swimmers- they swim a lot. I enjoy swimming very much and have been doing so on a team since I was 5 years old. I was always awarded the most dedicated, hardest worker, best team spirit...not many first place awards. Because my running and biking need so much work I haven't been swimming hardly at all. My last open water swimming was at the Maumee Bay Triathlon- in June. Before June, the last time I swam in open water was in November 2010. I have had very little lap time in the pool.
The meet started and before I knew it I was swimming. I wasn't finding my groove, I saw that everyone in front of me was way ahead of me and then the 1 mile wave started and was starting to pass me. I was not even at the half mile marker yet. I think this mentally discouraged me more than I thought. I tried to stay focused, I kept looking at my watch (oh, did I mention there was a time limit? a 90 minute time limit to complete the meet). I physically felt fine but mentally I was all over the place, "am I there yet?" "Everyone is passing me" "I'm not going to make the time" "Should I come in at mile 1?" I don't think one positive thought went through my head.
I finally reached the half mile point. I turned around and headed east- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT!. Oh great. I couldn't see a darn thing swimming into the sun. I was swimming from one kayaker on the left to the other on the right- each telling me to swim "that way". I was basically zig-zagging the whole way. I think I mentally figured I wouldn't make the time so I wasn't really in it. I reached the 1 mile marker at the start and decided to head back for mile 2. I figured, well I signed up for the damn thing I better do it. I'm not a good quitter- I can't quit anything. Not even if I should. By this time, swimmers were way ahead of me- finishing up. The waves started picking up a little and it was quite rocky out there.
I swear the far west buoy kept moving- I felt like I was not making any progress forward. Finally reaching the 1.5 mile point, a kayaker said, "keep going, you're farther that any of us would have made it". That's great, thanks. I turned the buoy and headed into the sun for about another 1/4 mile and by this time I had 2 kayak escorts. The kayakers helped immensely because all I had to do was look to my left and follow them instead of trying to sigh into the sun. Finally another kayaker came over and send I had to come in because the time was up.
Seriously? Can I just finish? Nope- I can't keep swimming. I grabbed onto a kayaker and he attempted to pull me to shore. One last attempt to finish the swim, I said "I could probably swim faster than we are kayaking right now <insert big smile here>. " He laughed and apologized. My other kayak escort took over and well he went a lot faster and he dropped me off at the beach- then I walked 1/4 mile to the finish.
I could have finished and would have liked to have the opportunity but there are time limits. I will be working on my swimming in the off season to say the least.
For the rest of the day I was bummed; I took a nap with Bruiser and watched TV. I'm not sure why I got so down. One thing I've always been able to do and have been able to say is that I finish everything. Maybe not being able to finish this bothered my type A finishing personality.
Alas, it's over and it's time to move forward!